Supreme Court justices feuding openly over death penalty

A Missouri man convicted in a brutal rape and murder can be executed by lethal injection because he is not guaranteed a "painless death," the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday, quashing Russell Bucklew's bid to avoid the needle because of his rare medical condition. In a 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court granted Missouri the right to proceed with execution protocol for Bucklew, who was sentenced to death for the 1996 murder of Michael Sanders, who was dating Bucklew's ex-girlfriend. Bucklew had previously assaulted the couple and stalked his former lover the day of the murder in order to find out where she was living. After shooting and killing Sanders, Bucklew fired at his former girlfriend's 6-year-old child -- and missed -- before kidnapping the woman and raping her several times. He was eventually arrested after a car chase and police shootout.. See here Also see here.

Justice Clarence Thomas discusses modern victimhood culture

Feb. 16, 2018 - 2:46 - U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas says at some point we're going to be 'fatigued with everyone being a victim' in conversation with Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces Gregory E. Maggs at Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.

Supreme Court to decide fate of cross-shaped WWI memorial in Maryland

A 40-foot, 16-ton Latin cross on public land in Bladensburg, Maryland, is the next major legal test for the Constitutional separation of church and state. The Supreme Court will consider this week whether the memorial, erected in 1925 to honor 49 Americans who fought in World War I, improperly promotes Christianity at government expense. What the nine justices decide could have a sweeping impact on communities nationwide, where historic war memorials and government buildings bearing religious imagery are commonplace. "Is this 'establishment of religion' through entanglement? That is the operative question," said JP Schnapper-Casteras, a constitutional lawyer and former Supreme Court advocate for the Legal Defense Fund. See here.

Justice Clarence Thomas calls for reconsideration of landmark libel case

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas on Tuesday called for reconsideration of a landmark First Amendment precedent, criticizing the 1964 decision that the Constitution creates a higher barrier for public figures to claim libel. Thomas wrote alongside a court decision not to take up the case of a woman who accused Bill Cosby of sexual misconduct in 2014. He suggested that the seminal case New York Times v. Sullivan, holding that public figures have a higher burden to prove libel, was wrongly decided. "New York Times and the Court's decisions extending it were policy-driven decisions masquerading as constitutional law," Thomas wrote. "If the Constitution does not require public figures to satisfy an actual-malice standard in state-law defamation suits, then neither should we," the opinion states. See here.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg Isn’t Looking to Retire Yet, But Is Another Supreme Court Justice Ready to Go?

With another Supreme Court vacancy, or two, President Trump’s record and influence on the future of the country will look even more secure. No one tells a Supreme Court Justice when to retire. But there are currently two retirement dramas under way at the Court—one semi-public and the other semi-private—and they both have the potential to reshape the meaning of the Constitution for decades. See here.

Supreme Court unanimously reaffirms: There is no ‘hate speech’ exception to the First Amendment

From the opinion by Justice Samuel Alito (for four justices) in Matal v. Tam, the “Slants” case:

[The idea that the government may restrict] speech expressing ideas that offend … strikes at the heart of the First Amendment. Speech that demeans on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, age, disability, or any other similar ground is hateful; but the proudest boast of our free speech jurisprudence is that we protect the freedom to express “the thought that we hate.

Florida man points laser at sheriff’s helicopter

Tongue in cheek "proof" that heroin induces rapid brain hypoxia and hyperglycemia, and consequently destroys the brain, Brian Harting, 48, was arrested after he shined a red laser at a sheriff’s helicopter that was circling overhead. Brian admitted to pointing the device at the Sheriff’s helicopter but claimed he did not know it was an illegal act, even though the laser had a warning sticker: “Never aim at aircraft.” See News article here. See clinical trial of hypoxia/heroin use here. Solis Jr, Ernesto, et al. "Intravenous heroin induces rapid brain hypoxia and hyperglycemia that precede brain metabolic response." eNeuro 4.3 (2017).

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